Re: positives going into next year
posted at 1/21/2013 12:49 PM EST
I for one find it encouraging to see a positive thread in the forum today. I watched last night's game trying to be as objective as it is possible for a rabid long-time Pats fan to be. I, too, am optimistic about next season for a number of reasons some of which have been listed in this thread. Yes, the team has some needs and those have been disccussed here. Each of those needs is within the capacity of the Pats to address. Whether they will do so effectively or not is a matter of management skill and luck. The former the team has; the latter will play itself out over time.
What I saw last night I consider to be an uncharacteristically poor performance in the red zone both on offense and on defense. The Pats offense is clearly the stronger of the two and, therefore to me, the bigger disappointment. Although injuries are part of the game there are four that I believe are worthy of note that happened at some point leading up to last night's result. They are:
1) Gronk's forearm - goes without saying I know but the guy is simply uncoverable and his absence in a game where the talent and intesity level is so high was significant;
2) Talib's hamstring - is he a shutdown corner? I don't know but he was doing a good job on Boldin to that point. His departure marked the beginning of a downturn in the team's ability to defend the pass not only from a coverage standpoint but from an aggressiveness standpoint overall. I have no idea what the blitz numbers were throughout the game but the Pats didn't seem to do much of it after Talib went down;
3) Jones' ankle - early in the season Chandler Jones was rapidly becoming a force in the Pats pass rush. After the ankle injury, even when he was cleared to play, he was no where near the same player;
4) Edelman's foot - reasonable fans can dispute the level of contribution Edelman made this season but I consider the loss of someone with his ability to do a variety of things well and make an impact on both offense and special teams significant.
Beyond the injuries, and I believe Tom Brady to be the greatest QB ever, Flacco outplayed Brady last night. Why is a function of many things but in my opinion Flacco wasn't facing the Ravens defense, had more impactful wideouts and also just played better. Am I a Flacco fan? Not by a long shot but it is what it is.
I know much of this has little to do with the title of the thread but I can't quite bring myself to post on the seemingly countless negative threads on this board today. I thank redsoxfan94 for initiating this thread and applaud all those who have chosen to remain positive on what I know for me is a day when it is not easy to do so. I have been a Pats fan since I was a kid and that goes back to the formation of the franchise (yeah, I'm that old) and I've never seen a better coach than Bill Belichick and think he's among the best GM's in the league. With ownership like Robert Kraft's and football stewardship like BB's I remain quite optimistic for this team's chances going forward.
Just my thoughts.